IT security resolutions for a safe new year

G Data urges users to think about their own IT security during the holiday season

12/24/2012 | Bochum (Germany) 

Finally quitting smoking, cleaning up the garage or losing some weight – there are many good resolutions. With less than two weeks until the new year, it's time to think about your goals for 2013. G Data advises Internet users not to forget about their own IT security because cyber criminals will continue their targeted attacks on users next year, for example, to steal credit card information, passwords or other personal data. Insufficient security helps the perpetrators and facilitates their attacks. G Data is therefore urging users to make IT security resolutions for 2013 and offers six tips for a successful start.

Six IT security resolutions for Internet users

1.    Install updates:
Install all available service packs, updates and patches for your operating system and software. Remove obsolete programs that are no longer supported by the provider and replace them with other software if appropriate.

2.    Use security software: A powerful security solution should be part of every Internet user's basic equipment and should not only include virus protection but also a firewall, spam and real-time protection against web threats and should be kept up-to-date with regular updates.

3.    Clean up your hard drive:
Users should delete all data that is no longer required as well as duplicate data from the hard disk and all other data media to free up space for photos from the New Year's party, Christmas party or other data. Free tools such as AntiTwin help users find duplicate files. These programs can be found on CDs of PC magazines, for example.

4.    Change passwords: Users should regularly change the passwords for user accounts for online shops, social networks and all other online portals. A secure password consists of a random sequence of numbers, special characters and upper and lower case letters. When choosing a password, you should try to avoid terms that can be found in dictionaries. Avoiding these makes trying to hack such passwords particularly difficult for attackers.

5.    Secure mobile devices: Tablets and smartphones should be equipped with security software that reliably fends off malware and protects the device against the consequences of loss or theft.

6.    Back up data: Backing up saves all important data like family photos or videos in case you lose the data due to an infection or a system crash. Furthermore, a system image backs up the entire hard disk with all installed programs. Comprehensive security solutions often include a backup module.

Daniëlle van Leeuwen